Want to view this email online instead? See it as a web page
GermanyisWunderbar GermanyisWunderbar
GermanyisWunderbar October 2011

Now we are One, it's time for some navel-gazing


Herzlichen Glückwunsch to us – for we are one year old. We didn’t really know how GermanyisWunderbar! would be received, so it’s been a good year, during which we’ve registered six-figure page views and provided media in the UK and overseas with Germany features – so we must be doing something right!

If you haven't been to the site recently, you'll notice a few nips and tucks to mark our anniversary; a news ticker on the home page, comments sections, better picture galleries etc.

Anyway, we thought it would be interesting to take stock of what particularly interests our visitors.  (And this is where our competitors sit up and take note, hoping we've got secrets to give away).

The lion’s share of our visitors are from the UK, three times more than from second-runner Germany, which is closely followed by the United States, and then by India, which we suspect is probably due to all those website design companies scoping out our site and then sending us sales-pitch emails.

In terms of content, the top pages are our blog, which is understandable, given that we’ve had guest bloggers like Julia Bradbury, who has a whole tribe of faithful followers of her own. Then comes (I’m afraid to say) the ‘get your kit off’ page about the FKK (literally ‘free body culture’), a page ranking presumably boosted by bored schoolboys rather than Bradbury-fanciers. That’s followed by our ‘Weird and Wunderbar’ section with its eccentric selection of clips from youtube, and then by the page which has featured our various competitions.

Attracting a lot of attention amongst destinations is our page about the Harz Mountain Railway, a wonderful old steam-hauled private rail network which tackles a difficult landscape in all seasons. Also popular is ‘Whatever happened to the Prussians?’, an essay about German  history that ranks mystifyingly highly amongst all the destination pages, possibly also due to schoolboy research.

Outward-bound pages get plenty of hits, particularly Farm Holidays in Northern Germany, which features the network of so-called ‘hay hotels’, and cycling along the Rhine and Moselle. Our page on hiking from hut to hut in the Alps actually earns the most click-throughs of any of our destination pages, suggesting that there’s a hidden thirst for this kind of activity in the UK.

So what’s the lesson to be drawn from all this? Basically that our site-visitors are a free-spirited, adventurous, lot – and they do love their Germany. 


Three cheers! With three beers!

To celebrate our birthday, here are three beers we’d heartily recommend, both for their own quality, and for the location in which they can be drunk.

1) The Kloster Barock Dunkel (dark beer) brewed by the monks of Weltenburg Abbey, on the banks of the Danube (pictured left), should be drunk on site in the courtyard of the monastery under the shade of half a dozen lime trees.

2) Kölsch, a pale, light and happy brew from Cologne, served in distinctive tall thin tumblers. Best consumed in the wood-floored St Peters Brauhaus (where they make their own) in Cologne’s old town.

3) Rauchbier – smoky beer – brewed in Bamberg, Franconia. Tastes like a cross between Guinness and smoky bacon, and is best consumed in Schlenkerla, in Bamberg’s aristocratic district. If you don’t like the first one, the saying goes, keep going; the third one is great!


Germany has the slidey white stuff, too


It's the time of year when attention turns to skiing, which in Germany comes in fits and starts. There are German resorts in the Alps (eg Berchtesgaden, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Oberstdorf and Oberstaufen), in the Black Forest, in Thuringia  over in the east, and in Sauerland, the most northerly ski area in Europe. Most are not large-scale, and that means no queues, cheaper lift passes, easier transfers, and avoiding the scrum for (expensive) flights to mega resorts during half-terms and holidays. As an example, compare an easyjet flight to Geneva, main access airport to the big French and Swiss ski areas, over February 2012 half term (£349 return) to a flight to Stuttgart, access to the Black Forest, with Germanwings for the same dates (£119 return). A third of the price.

The downside is the availability of snow, which is why tour operators avoid German resorts. Most are at a lower altitude than the big Alpine domains, and although they all have brilliant snow-making infrastructure, they do need the weather to turn chilly! So these are destinations for last-minute, short-term ski holidays, put together by independent travellers who are not necessarily hard-core about their downhill, and who might like to spend some time in Munich, for example, or Dresden, in addition to their days on the slopes. 

This kind of skiing is CEW: Cultural, Economical and Whimsical! And if you find skiing a bit repetitive, as well as scandalously expensive, maybe CEW is for you!


Masthead images

Left to right, T top, B bottom: Black Forest gone blue, Achim Mende. Brandenburger Hof hotel. Schloss Lübbenau (T). Bundesliga, GNTB (B). Ski lift at Fichtelberg, Oberwiesenthal Tourism (T). Martin Luther (B). Chilled gnome, DZT (T). Rügen cliffs, GNTB (B). Cherry cake, pa (B). Berlin S-Bahn.

Why am I receiving this?

You are receiving this newsletter as you subscribed via our Website, or have previously expressed an interest in our content. However, If you would prefer not to receive further emails from us, you can always unsubscribe at any time.

  Visit Email GermanyisWunderbar GermanyisWunderbar